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McCoy: "We're in this Business to Win"
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There are some in the NFL who’d argue that it’s only the preseason, so it doesn’t really matter if you win or lose a game.
Thankfully, those people aren’t in the San Diego Chargers organization.
The prevailing notion is that above all else, winning matters. After all, getting the “W” is the reason the players pour blood, sweat and tears into training and practicing 365 days a year.
According to head coach Mike McCoy, that mindset is required 100% of the time to be a member of the Chargers.
“If someone told you those preseason games don’t matter, we’ve got the wrong people here,” McCoy said. “I think the number one thing (is) we’re in this business to win. As a new staff kind of recreating an identity here of what we’re doing and what we expect of players, it’s all about winning. We’re going to compete every day in everything we do. We told everyone that in the organization. It’s not just football people, it’s everybody from the bottom up. That’s what (Chairman of the Board and President) Dean (Spanos) wants. Dean wants everyone to come in here and compete every day, do the job to the best of your ability and get better. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. We’ve got to do whatever we can do to be the best in everything we do as an organization. So we’ve got to get people that want to win because every game’s important. You’ve got to create an environment around here (because) the way it is in the locker room after a win; that’s what you work for. It doesn’t matter how many points you win by, but winning is what it’s all about.”
Clearly passionate about the subject, McCoy would expect nothing different than to hear that is the mindset of each one of his players.
“No matter what you say about the preseason, that it doesn’t impact the record or that there’s nothing on the line, that’s wrong,” said Eric Weddle. “We’re out there competing and as a professional player you want to go out there, execute and win. So to go out there, get a complete win and play well in all three phases – that’s what it’s going to take for us to win a championship.”
Yes, winning a championship is the end goal, but to get there you obviously have to get as many wins as possible. For Dwight Freeney, that is what being a competitor is all about.
“I don’t care what it is, it feels good to win,” he said. “We’re all competitors out here. I don’t care if it’s tic-tac-toe, checkers or whatever we’re doing, we want to win. And that’s how we like to do it.”
Among many Chargers weighing in on the topic, perhaps Nick Hardwick said it best, explaining how netting a win in the fashion the Bolts did on Saturday will help lead to important victories in the regular season.
“A win is a win,” the well-respected center said. “They don’t all count, but they all matter. We can learn from this. We can grow from this. And we can get a little confidence. The thing that really excited me, and the entire team, was the energy that we came out with. We had a real bite to us. A real fight about us. And that needs to be recreated in practice and games down the line. And that just has to be a weekly thing. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a chance”
Another revered veteran, Antonio Gates, echoed what Hardwick said in his own words.
“You can’t take a win like this for granted whether or not it comes in preseason or the regular season,” said the future Hall-of-Famer. “It was just showing our growth and how we continue to get better over the weeks and throughout training camp. We just want to hit the season on top of our game.”